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Rhode Island Expungement Lawyer

Good people make mistakes too.  Having a criminal conviction on your arrest “record” because you made a misdemeanor or felony mistake can absolutely ruin your life. 

This is why it is so important to hire an experienced, aggressive and knowledgeable Rhode Island Expungement Attorney to expunge your record and clear your reputation. 

And the expungement process to clear your criminal history is simple, can be done completely over the phone with my law office, and will NOT require you to appear in Court. 

As an experienced and knowledgeable RI expungement lawyer, I will immediately be able to tell you over the phone if you are eligible to have your criminal conviction expunged,  and if so, you will not have to appear in Court with me when the Judge hears your expungement motion.

If you want your arrest record or criminal conviction in Rhode Island Expunged, call me today for a comprehensive and free consultation about expungement at 401.861.1155

Rhode Island law requires criminal identification checks for so many things in life such as employment applications, mortgage/rental applications, volunteering applications, and even coaching/chaperoning your child’s sporting events and activities, just to name a few.  

Folks with a criminal history or past criminal charge always report difficulty with advancing in life.  Is a potential employer going to hire the person with the criminal conviction, or the person without the criminal record?

Luckily, Rhode Island expungement law allows people to expunge arrests, criminal cases, probation, suspended sentences, criminal charges and criminal convictions. 

As a RI criminal defense attorney, my law office has helped thousands of people put those mistakes in the past forever.  RI expungement law is technical, and there are a number of steps in expungement of a criminal history. 

Hiring the best expungement lawyer can make the expungement process easy.

Check out expungement law to view the Rhode Island’s Expungement/Sealing Law.

What is the Difference Between a Criminal History or Criminal Record Being Expunged vs. Sealed?

Absolutely nothing.  Under RI expungement law, if a first offender criminal case or criminal charge was dismissed by law enforcement or the prosecution, or a person was found not guilty by a judge or jury of the criminal charges for which they were arrested, the process is called sealing the criminal record. 

If a person pleads guilty as a first offender to a criminal offense, or was convicted of a criminal charge and now wants his/her criminal history erased, the process is called expungement. 

But the effect on your criminal record is absolutely the same, just different words.  If a Rhode Island criminal case is expunged or sealed, 3 things happen:

  1. The arrest record, criminal charge, the sentence, probation, suspended sentence, plea of nolo contendere, criminal conviction and criminal case information is deleted from the Bureau of Criminal Identification (this is the official term for your criminal “record”, which is kept by the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General)
  2. The criminal law Court deletes the arrest record, criminal charge, the sentence, probation, suspended sentence plea of nolo contendere, criminal conviction and criminal case information from the Court computer (which is accessible from any computer/phone with internet, and what people usually see first).  This is so important because anyone with a computer can search and find your arrest record, criminal case, probation or criminal conviction information.  Check out this link to the Rhode Island Court computer’s criminal records search.
  3. And, as part of the expungement process, law enforcement and probation are ordered to destroy the physical file, arrest record and all of the evidence of your legal matter in their possession.

Under RI expungement law, once a criminal case, criminal charge or criminal history has been Expunged, it is the legal equivalent of “it never happened”. 

You are allowed to legally answer “no” to any question about whether you have an arrest record, criminal record or criminal conviction. 

Hire the best criminal defense lawyer in Rhode Island with detailed knowledge of expungement law and criminal law to provide proper legal advice and to guide you through the process of an expungement of your criminal record.

Am I Eligible to Have My Criminal Record Expunged or Sealed?

Whether or not a first offender can have his/her criminal record expunged depends on (1) what criminal offense was committed, and (2) how the case ended in Court. 

In Rhode Island, all criminal charges fall into one of two categories…misdemeanors and felonies.  Although the process of expungement of a criminal record is the same in either case, different expungement laws apply for misdemeanors versus felonies. 

An experienced and knowledgeable expungement attorney can tell you immediately if your felony conviction or misdemeanor conviction can be expunged.

Expungement of a RI misdemeanor conviction

Under Rhode Island law, a misdemeanor is a criminal charge which carries up to 1 year in jail.  These are generally considered “minor” offenses such as disorderly conduct, domestic violence such as domestic disorderly conduct or domestic battery, DUI and larceny (although no criminal charge should ever be taken lightly). 

Depending on how the criminal case ended in criminal Court, a misdemeanor can be expunged at different times. So:

  • If your misdemeanor charges were dismissed by law enforcement or the prosecution, or you were found not guilty of the misdemeanor case by a Judge or jury, you are eligible to expunge (seal) the criminal case immediately.  
  • If you received a 1 Year Filing in your misdemeanor criminal case, you are eligible to expunge the criminal case after the 1 year has ended.  An exception is made to this law for domestic violence charges which must wait 2 additional years for expungement.
  • If you received 1 Year Probation in your misdemeanor criminal  case, you are eligible to expunge your conviction 5 years after the probation is completed.  A RI DUI conviction falls under this category.
  • If you received a 1 Year Suspended Sentence in your misdemeanor criminal case, you are eligible to expunge your conviction 5 years after the suspended sentence is completed.  

Rhode Island Expungement law has recently been expanded beyond first offenders to allow folks with multiple misdemeanor convictions on their Rhode Island criminal record to have all of the old mistakes removed. 

However, to be eligible to have multiple misdemeanor convictions Expunged, a person must wait 10 years after the last case ended.  So, this is a longer “look-back” period, but it does allow folks to put the past behind them no matter how bad. 

As an experienced and aggressive RI expungement lawyer, I will be able to expunge your criminal history and restore your reputation within 3 weeks of being hired.    

Expungement of a RI felony conviction 

Under Rhode Island law, a felony is a criminal charge which carries more than 1 year in jail.  These criminal offenses are generally considered “major” criminal cases and, in some situations, result in jail sentences.  Once again, depending on how the felony criminal case ends in Court, a felony conviction can be expunged at different times.  So:

  • If your felony case was dismissed by the prosecution, or you were found not guilty by a Judge or jury, you are eligible to expunge the criminal case immediately.  
  • If your felony case concludes in the Attorney General’s Diversion Program, you are eligible to expunge the felony conviction immediately upon completion of the Diversion Program.  
  • If your felony case concluded with a Deferred Sentence agreement with the office of Attorney General, you are eligible to expunge the felony conviction as soon as you have completed the length and terms of the Deferred Sentence.
  • If you received a period of Probation in your felony case, you are eligible to expunge the felony conviction 10 years after the probation is completed.  
  • If you received a period of Suspended Sentence in your felony case, you are eligible to expunge the felony conviction and criminal case 10 years after the suspended sentence is completed.  

A knowledgeable and experienced expungement lawyer can tell you immediately over the phone if your criminal history and charges can be expunged.  

Are There Any Rhode Island Criminal Charges that Cannot be Expunged?

The answer is yes…charges which are considered ”crimes of violence” can never be expunged from a Rhode Island criminal record.  Rhode Island expungement law specifically defines what is considered a “crime of violence”:

  • “Crime of violence” includes murder, manslaughter, first degree arson, kidnapping with intent to extort, robbery, larceny from the person, first degree sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, first and second degree child molestation, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to commit first degree sexual assault, burglary, and entering a dwelling house with intent to commit murder, robbery, sexual assault, or larceny.

What is the Process to Have My Rhode Island Criminal Record Expunged

The RI expungement process of having your criminal record erased is much easier than you may think, especially for an experienced and knowledgeable RI criminal defense lawyer. 

The first step to expungement of a criminal record is the filing of a Motion to Expunge with the criminal Court where your criminal charges were handled. 

All the information I need to file a RI expungement I can obtain from the Court’s computer and a brief conversation over the phone with you.  

Prior to filing the RI expungement with the proper criminal Court, I will obtain your signature on a sworn affidavit required by the Court, which will then be filed together with the expungement motion. 

The Court will then schedule a single Court appearance before a Judge in approximately 2-3 weeks.  You are NOT required to attend the expungement Court appearance making this expungement process even more convenient. 

After the Judge grants your RI expungement, the Judge then signs an expungement Order which is copied and certified by the clerk of the criminal court, and then that Order is sent to the Attorney General as well as the law enforcement body who arrested you. 

Your Rhode Island criminal record is now expunged.  Check out these links to see what the RI expungement paperwork looks like: 

Misdemeanor:

Click Here To View the PDF

Felony:

Click Here to View the PDF

Can I obtain a Copy of my Criminal Identification (B.C.I.)?

Yes, and it is easy.  Your official Rhode Island criminal record is kept at the Department of Attorney General.  You can obtain a certified copy of your criminal identification record by contacting the B.C.I. Office located at:

Rhode Island Department of Attorney General
B.C.I. Unit
4 Howard Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island 02920
401.274.4400

Check out this link to the B.C.I. Unit at the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General.

WHY HIRE RHODE ISLAND EXPUNGEMENT LAWYER S. JOSHUA MACKTAZ, ESQ. TO EXPUNGE YOUR CRIMINAL CHARGES:

  • Former Rhode Island State Prosecutor
  • Judges, Lawyers and Police Officers refer family and friends
  • 27+ years of experience in Rhode Island criminal law
  • I have expunged 1000’s of criminal cases, criminal charges, arrest records and criminal convictions  
  • 300+ Five Star online reviews across all platforms
  • Aggressive, experienced and personal representation of all clients seeking expungement of a legal matter.
  • My law office has strong and long-standing relationships with all Rhode Island Judges, law enforcement and prosecutors 
  • I will be the expungement lawyer reviewing and overseeing your case and I will be the expungement attorney standing next to you in court.  Unlike so many other Rhode Island criminal defense firms, I do NOT send associates to do my job.  I am in criminal court every day of the week, and I strongly believe each expungement client deserves this personal service.
  • I copy every expungement client on every single document coming into the law office, or leaving the office, regarding their expungement.  I think it is critical for every client to be well-informed and fully engaged in the process.  Getting your criminal record expunged is truly a team effort.
  • All calls and emails will be returned by me, not an associate, within a few hours of receiving the email or call.  
  • I provide a free and comprehensive initial consultation in all new Expungement cases.
  • I am available 24/7/365
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